Monday, July 27, 2009

A Night of Food From the Old Country

July 24--second event
This was my second dinner event. I decided to cook all of the foods that I either ate as a child or ate while on my trip back to the village my grandfather came from. The cooking that we ate was very simple, but delicious. Made with care and, I think the best part of it was that most, if not all, came from the village itself.
Most of the ingredients that I used were locally grown and produced. I am finding that I am maybe serving so much food that folks can't finish what I give them....or maybe I need to be clear that they should come with empty stomachs.
The menu:

Zucchini flowers--these were battered and fried. my mother used to go out to our huge garden in the morning and pick the flowers, making sure to pick the males, as they do not produce zucchinis. she would make them and me and my three sisters would gobble them up.

Caprisi salad--i used heirloom tomatoes and fresh mozzarella with huge pieces of basil. One of the guests was allergic to basil so i substituted fresh oregano. I drizzled the salad with olive oil, salt, and pepper

Homemade pasta--with a fresh roma tomato sauce

Chicken--marinated with lemon, rosemary, garlic and olive oil. Frank the waiter did the honor of grilling the chicken.

Broccolini--steamed and dressed with a black olive dressing

Cannoli--i did purchase the shells, but made the filling with fresh sheep's milk ricotta.

Me with my helper.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

An Unforgettable Four Course Meal from Crisp

June 24, 2009--the inaugural event.

As I love to cook food for folks and have been doing this for many years, I decided to invite friends to share in a restaurant-style experience. I being the chef, and with the help of my husband Mike (aka Frank the waiter) invited a handful of people to come and sit at my table while I cooked and served them, as if they were at a restaurant.

My first event was exciting and full of flavor. In preparation, I tested 4 different fishes, marinated and seasoned 8 different ways. Since I decided I would cook fish in banana leaves for my first event, and never had done it before, I did a little testing to come up with the perfect combination. With my husband and two friends (one visiting from Kansas), we tested and tasted all of the different combinations.

Here is what the final menu consisted of. If anyone is interested in any of the recipes you can email me.

Summer Rolls--veggie summer rolls with rice noodles and a reduced peanut sauce
Spinach Salad--with orange wedges and avocado served with a ginger dressing
Grouper Grilled in Banana Leaves--grouper, marinated in a coconut curry sauce served w/ a pineapple-mango-orange relish
Coconut Rice
Long Beans--sauteed in sesame oil and garlic
Lemon Pudding Cake--with fresh whipped cream and local strawberries and blueberries
Piave cheese and fresh fruit
Coffee & Tea

Folks were a bit confused, as they thought I would be joining them to eat. But, being the chef of the evening it is impossible to cook and serve the food as fresh as possible and sit and relax. It is more important for me to make sure the food is top quality. I do make many visits to the table to talk with everyone to ensure the food is good and ask if anyone has any questions.

My ingredients are the best quality I can find--and I do try to purchase as much locally produced food available.

A good time was you can see below.